Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Serendipity – From Squares to Triangles

There were still some nifty things to be done with squares, so I continued working through that section.

P9300001 I wanted to try this “sunflower” pattern (after all, I DO live in Kansas!) which uses two sizes of square inserts.  The instructions call for marking lines at 22.5 degrees.  Huh?  So, I started thinking and realized that half of 45 is 22.5.  So after folding and creasing horizontal, vertical, and both diagonals, I creased again halfway between each of those.  Granted, it’s not as easy as folding in half, but still much easier than trying to read half a degree on a protractor!!!

I was stitching along, feeling pretty clever, when my subconscious started asking embarrassing questions – like, “What’s with this raw edge here?” and “When the book says to construct a square insert, maybe it implies more than just folding it in half?”  Oh.  This is why my seam ripper is such a close friend!

After a slight detour.

P9300002The squares inserted and opened out into diamonds.  Kind of messy in the center, but that’s easily remedied.

P9300003I just covered it up!  I’m leaving this like it is for now.  I really like the way those petals lift away from the background.  I need to think about how to secure the diamonds without tacking the tips down.

P9300004Moving on to triangles!  This time I started with a right triangle and I cut equilateral triangles to make a hexagon background.  Same method otherwise – fold, stitch, insert.

P9300005But the shape when you open the inserts is a bit different.  An inserted square opens to form a shape longer than the inserted seam, while an inserted triangle does not.  Does that make sense?

In the above photo, I rolled the long edge on three of the inserts.  Once again, the center is messy and I’ve already made one fabric disc.

P9300006 How about beads!  Not as elaborate as last week (the faeries didn’t show up this time!), but a nice way to finish off the block anyway.  I’m beginning to see how some of these shapes can be combined to make a larger project.  Perhaps I’ll try some of that in the future.

Speaking of the future – I’m going to be out of town this coming week.  Although I expect to be home next Sunday, I expect to be pretty exhausted!  So, there won’t be a Serendipity post next week.  But we’ll pick up here the following week, so be sure to stop by.  See you then!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday WOW – September 26

I have a confession to make.  I forgot my camera today!  In fact, I’m not sure I know where it is right now.  Hmmm.  It is probably buried under one of the (many) piles in my studio.

All is not lost, however.  I do have some pictures of projects I haven’t shared yet.  Let’s see what I can find.

P8160005I showed this on a Wednesday WOW about a month ago.  This is the finished piece.   I made it for Sarge’s birthday.  As it happens, we once had a bulldog named Max – short for “Maximillian Costs A Million.”  LOL!

P4060009Also from my applique stack is this piece from McKenna Ryan.  It has not been quilted yet, but I’m thinking it won’t be long!  This “needs” to be hanging over my coffee maker!

P7090001This is the wall hanging I made from Hoffman Challenge fabrics.  I call it “Garden Party.”  I think I showed some in-progress photos of this, but not a finished.  Probably because all the ones I have are lopsided – not the quilt, but the photos!

P8130001 A little change of pace, here.  This paper doll type piece is mounted on canvas.  The girl herself is cut from paper, but the dress is from fabric and her hair is strands of perle cotton.  The whole thing was then sealed with gel paste. 

Next Wednesday I will be out of town.  I’m hoping to schedule a post similar to this for you.  If I can figure out blogger’s scheduling tool, that is!  Hope to see you then!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Serendipity – Squares It Is

The humble square.  Such a basic shape, but with a little imagination it turns into something pretty amazing!

P9230002This week’s chapter is on Insertions, and the first insertion starts as a square.  If you fold it and stitch and stick it between two triangles or squares, you get this.

P9230003Then it’s a simple matter to open up that triangle to make a diamond!

P9230004Four squares, stitched into diagonal seams on one larger square and you get four diamonds!  Hey, that was pretty quick and easy.  You might think I’d be ready to move on to the next shapes, but that would be too easy.

P9230005No, I need to play with the shapes, and open and fold some more.  Looking much better!  But that center is awfully plain.  Hmmm.

P9230006I have to admit that I spent way too much time futzing with that center piece.  The sensible thing would have been to add horizontal and vertical seams and set them with folded squares.  In fact, the book actually describes doing just that!  But that would have called for a little planning, and where’s the fun in that?

After this, I’m not sure what happened.  I remember pricking my finger.  Maybe I dozed off.  Maybe it was magic.  There are no progress photos, so faerie folk may have been involved.

The next thing I knew, some time had passed.  And wait ‘til you see what I found in front of me . . .

P9230007 And it all began as a bunch of squares!!

I wonder what the faeries will do with triangles?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday WOW – September 19


This little pile is left over from last Wednesday.  It doesn’t look too messy, but that’s because I just pushed it all to the side.  Once I started sorting through it . . . then it was a mess!

P9190006In between, I set up two more crazy patch blocks ready for the hand work.   I wanted these prepared for when I have just a few moments, or when I need to gather my thoughts.  I find I can plan better if my hands are busy. 

The worktable is now cleared off and ready for my next project.  I just need to decide which it’s to be!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Serendipity – Sound the Trumpets!

Well, maybe it isn’t that exciting.  Just one piece to show you today, but there were a couple of new ideas at least.

P9160025I started out by adding additional triangles/points along the diagonal seams.  Actually, this is a pretty interesting block already.  But there’s more.

P9160026 With the triangles opened out, you can see that the light ones are pointed out and the brown ones are pointed in.  Looks different, huh?  But wait . . .

P9160027 I have to roll the edges to get something really interesting.  And . . .

P9160028I am adding a yellow insert.  Only got three done with the afternoon’s typical interruptions, but  this is looking more interesting all the time.  I really like how those stripes work when rolled back.

P9160029Here’s a close-up of one of the inserts.  It takes a little while to stitch down that tiny rolled edge.  Pretty fiddly work! 

There are still some things to try with the trumpets, but I think I’ll move ahead to the next shape.  Maybe I’ll come back to these before we’re done.  There’s soooo much to do with this shape!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday WOW – September 12

The worktable is looking pretty messy today.

P9120001I pulled out some old kimono silk scraps and started some crazy patch pieces.  I don’t remember where I got these scraps, but they are really just scraps!  Nothing more than about six inches across, so crazy patch it is.

P9120002 This shows a couple of them while I tried out some trims.  Nothing stitched down yet.

P9120003A couple of hours later, there was some embroidery done – still a bit to go – and a much bigger mess! 

I like the stitching that goes into crazy patch work, but I do not usually have the patience to finish large pieces.  These will become postcards or journal covers eventually. 

It’s nice to just sit and stitch sometimes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Serendipity – Taking Shape

Things are really starting to get interesting in this book!  Last week I was introduced to interwoven squares, and this week I worked with other shapes. 


Triangles, hexagons, and trumpets. 

P9090005When triangles are interwoven, you get two patterns.  One side forms three kites like above.

P9090006And the other side forms three long triangles.  When the edges are rolled back, a slightly different pattern is formed.

P9090010I made six triangles and placed half of them with the kite side up and half with the triangle side.  Then I stitched them together to form a hexagon and rolled back the inner edges.  You can see a difference in the folds, although the center opening is the same size and shape.

And then I moved on to hexagons as the beginning shape.








There are two ways to weave hexagon shapes.  First by using just three folded hexies like the one on the left.  Weaving six folded hexies makes a more complex pattern – like the one on the right.  It is also a lot more fabric to stitch through!

P9090011And here they are with the edges rolled back.  The six-piece hexie is neater because I folded the pieces along the bias and stitched the edges back all the way to the corners.  When I stitched contrasting fabrics for the other two, I did not realize the seam needs to be on the bias.  I’ll have to try that again sometime.

P9090009And then I started on the “trumpets.”  At this stage they are just prairie points – although a trifle large!  They are inserted into seams so they can be opened and manipulated several ways.

P9090017The simplest method is to press the folds open and roll the edge.  I also inserted a Baltimore rose for interest.

P9090016Another simple method is to add a small square inside and roll the two outer edges over the square’s edge. 

P9090015 The piece does not have to be opened on center, either.  I think this looks like a lily blossom.

P9090014And there are several different ways to open and fold the basic prairie point triangle.  This one might need something inserted before it’s really finished, but that was all the time I had today.

P9090012Here’s the four trumpet shapes together.   With just these four samples, I can see there are a lot of things one could do with this shape.  In fact, I peeked ahead in the book (just a little!) and found there are several more pages dealing with trumpets!

Guess I’ll be playing with this shape again next week.  What fun!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday WOW – September 5

Another productive day.  Occasionally things seem to fall into place.  Not too often, mind you!  Just enough to keep me hoping.  LOL!

P9050001I took this picture fairly early on, so the stacks are still kind of neat.  They didn’t stay that way! 

P9050005I took a minute before packing up to see how much progress I’ve made.  That’s about two-thirds of the blocks.  Not bad for a couple days’ work.  This pattern goes together pretty easy so it is moving along quickly.  Kind of a nice change!  LOL!

I have several projects in the “queue” so it’s nice to have one that flows smoothly.  Sort of cleans out the cobwebs so I can be ready to attack the next one.  Er . . . sort of . . . .

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Serendipity – Still Square

Squares can be pretty interesting.  Especially if you combine several together.

P9020001For instance, this block looks like a square with diagonal creases, but it is actually four squares—each folded and interlocked with the others.

P9020002When you roll back the folded edges, you see something quite different.  Pretty cool, but let’s see what else I can do.

P9020003For this one, I made the squares from different colored triangles and you get some contrast when the edges are rolled back.  Hmmm.  Does that look fuzzy to you?  I didn’t notice at the time because I was already thinking of how to carry the square even further!

P9020004This time I used a stripe for two of the squares, paired with two solid colored squares – and I stitched four of those to make a 4-patch block.

If you were very observant, you might have noticed that there are two directions to weave the squares.  For this 4-patch, I interlocked two squares in a clockwise direction and the other two counter-clockwise.  


Then, by rolling the edges on only the solid color pieces I got this very interesting set of curved shapes.  I like that!  This is starting to be a load of fun!

There are a lot more variations on the square, but I’ve run out of time for this week.  Next week I’ll look at some other shapes . . . triangles and hexagons, here I come!